Guelleh says won't seek 4th term

2011-04-07 18:17
Djibouti - Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh promised on Thursday that he will not seek a fourth term in office if he wins a third one in Friday's elections.

"No, this is it, it's my last run," said the 63-year-old, who has ruled the tiny Horn of Africa country since 1999 and is widely expected to win a third term on Friday.

His only rival in a poll boycotted by the main opposition parties is a former head of the constitutional council who is running as an independent.

Last year, Guelleh had parliament amend the constitution to allow him to seek another term, sparking an opposition outcry and fuelling unprecedented demonstrations in February.

Guelleh's election rival, Mohamed Warsama Ragueh, is not considered a serious threat but has nevertheless been endorsed by a senior opposition figure.

"If there's an opposition coalition backing the independent candidate, it is in no way a threat to me. On the contrary, it strengthens democracy in our country," he told reporters.

"Since 1999, the opposition has been unable to find a leader and a social programme that are convincing to Djiboutians. The only thing they're good at is insulting me," Guelleh added.

About 150 000 people are eligible to vote out of some 860 000 inhabitants, more than half of whom live in the capital.

The winner will get five years at the head of a largely desert country whose small size belies its strategic importance.

Situated on one of the world's busiest shipping routes where the Red Sea joins the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti hosts the only US military base in Africa and the largest overseas French army base.

Read more on:    ismael omar guelleh  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.